The healing of the lame beggar
The healing of the lame beggar
- These days and Those days. The references to times and day in the first 3 chapters of Acts are striking. (cf. 1:6-7, 2:17-20 and 3:19-21). In the Bible, there was essentially only a 2-fold division of time: These days and those days. The time of bondage and waiting; and the time to come of freedom and healing and salvation.
- Jesus both announced and demonstrated that “The Kingdom of God is here”, meaning the shift in the history of the world was about to happen. That the world will move from THESE DAYS to THOSE DAYS. The cross and resurrection deal with the problem of sin and the start of the days of life respectively.
- Acts 1:6-7: This passage is all about the big WHY question. Asking God Why things are not going as expected? Jesus answers the disciples what a WHAT answer to their WHY question. It is more important for God that we keep obeying God’s plan for our lives, than understand why things are the way they are.
- Acts 2: The Holy Spirit poured out was the sign that THOSE days have started. God had returned to his temple, which was no longer a building, but the bodies of the 12 apostles! The place where God would encounter a broken world, from Acts 2 forward, is through his followers, not in a meeting place.
- Acts 3: People don’t need our money, they need the healing and fullness of God which is now freely available. We don’t need to be superstar, but just available for God to use us to love people. The power is God’s, the hand was Peter’s that healed the man.
- Theology of Healing: People are save because we are in THOSE DAYS; because of the power of the Name of Jesus; because of faith in, from and through Jesus (he drops faith-bombs in our heart to use! – it is not our own power or piety – Acts 3:16);
- Practice of Healing: We believe that miracles (including healing) should be a part of normal Christianity (=Continuationism). But in fact, many of us don’t see these miracles very often. How do we partner with God to pray for healing? 1. Love people; 2. Take a risk to reach out to someone; 3. Pray with confidence (we are in THOSE days); 4. Pray with authority (Jesus has given us “all authority” Matt 28); 5. Pray with the Holy Spirit (let him lead); 6. Expect God to heal and don’t be disappointed when he doesn’t do so immediately.
Discussion points for Life Groups:
- How do you approach the Bible? How can you move away from reading the Bible as a guide for your life towards reading it as the Story that God would have you play your part?
- What has been the biggest WHY question in your life? How do you deal with the question of unanswered WHY prayers? (Confess your feelings to God/others; Repent; And begin to trust/pray again).
- If your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, how does that change the way you think of your identity and purpose? In which ways can you grow in purity/holiness and in mission that the temple of God symbolises?
- Can you think of three people that perhaps God would have you “fix your gaze” upon, loving them and praying God’s healing over them? What prevents you from reaching out?
What part of the practice of healing are you most uncomfortable with? How can you grow in the practice of healing?